The purpose of the reformed Ofqual accredited A level, as set out in Ofqual’s Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements is as follows:
- define and assess achievement of the knowledge, skills and understanding which will be needed by students planning to progress to undergraduate study at a UK higher education establishment, particularly (although not only) in the same subject area;
- set out a robust and internationally comparable post-16 academic course of study to develop that knowledge, skills and understanding;
- permit UK universities to accurately identify the level of attainment of students;provide a basis for school and college accountability measures at age 18; and
- provide a benchmark of academic ability for employers.
A* - E (unchanged in level of demand)
From 2015, revised Ofqual accredited science A levels (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) will include a separate result for the practical element of the qualification. This separate grade will be pass/not classified. Some students will be 'exempt' due to a disability, this will be marked on the certificate.
Reformed Ofqual accredited A levels will be linear in their structure, with all assessment at the end of the qualification.
Students will sit a terminal examination, and, in some cases, undertake non-exam assessment.
Whilst both the AS and A level are Level 3 qualifications, assessment within the AS is regarded as less demanding than that of the A level.
The 2017 and 2018 admissions cycle will see large numbers of applicants applying to HE with a mixture of new and current AS and A levels due to the staggered reform timetable.
AS and A levels accredited in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will differ in terms of structure, content and assessment arrangements. Grading will remain the same.
Not all applicants will choose to study AS qualifications.
Ofqual accredited Science A levels will contain two grades. Any university that requires a practical grade should make this clear in their entry requirements.
There is no UMS for reformed A levels.
Link to rules, regulations and guidance for the reformed A levels and AS qualifications (taught from September 2015) published by Ofqual: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/new-a-level-and-as-level-qual…
Links to awarding organisation websites and specifications: